Have you been planning that big Europe trip? Have you been wondering if you could take a rental across Europe? The answer is yes! But, know that there are certain criteria you will need to adhere to. We have compiled a list to help you plan the perfect rental car road trip!
Choosing the right rental car company
This is something you should do during the planning phase of the trip, as different car rental companies have different policies and pick-up and drop-off routes. There are many European rental companies to choose from – Avis, Sixt, Hertz, and Europcar are some of the more well-known ones.
It is also important to compare prices between companies to pick the best one-note that prices can vary drastically depending on seasons and promotions; therefore it is important to place your bookings in advance. You can use travel networks like Kayak which are supported by Navotar Car Rental Software, to find the best rates.
Routing your Europe road trip
Once you have selected the car rental company that suits your needs best, you can start routing your trip based on the rental company’s pick up and drop off locations. Plan this in a way that you pick the car up at the start of your journey and drop it off at the end of your journey within the country. If you are dropping the car off in a different country, you will be charged a higher fee for that.
The most convenient pick-up location would be at the airport or train station; however, this can incur additional charges.
Border crossing fee
It is also important to know that you will be charged a border crossing fee when driving a rental from one country to another, this fee can range from €15 to €50.
Taking a ferry ride would be the most convenient way to cross a border; however, this means that you will have to pay a hefty price to the rental company. Read their terms and conditions prior to seeing if it is worth paying an extra fee for that privilege.
International driver’s permit
On arrival, the rental company will require your confirmation number, driver’s license, passport, credit card and, the most important document – your international driver’s permit (IDP).
An IDP is not a substitute for your current driver’s license; it is a document that supplements it. The IDP translates your driver’s license to 10 different languages – countries that require the IDP are Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
A Vignette indicates that you have paid the highway taxes, it should be pasted on your windshield. If you have rented a car in a country that requires a Vignette, it will already be covered. However, if you are driving into a country that requires the Vignette, you will have to purchase it.
Vignettes are sold at border crossings and gas/filling stations close by and will cost you between €3 to €10. If you do not have a vignette, you will be fined up to €60.
Countries that require a vignette are – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
Your car rental company will offer insurance, it is important to read through their terms and conditions very carefully to find out what damages their insurance contract covers. You will also need extra insurance in the form of green card to be able to travel across Europe.
It is important to have a green card when traveling across Europe, it is a cross border insurance which assures that you have the minimum level of insurance required. This card is issued by your rental car company when you make the reservation.
Credit card insurance
Check with your credit card company to see if you are offered rental car insurance privileges. Visa credit cards provide collision damage insurance, which means you won’t have to pay extra for the car rental company’s insurance.
Gas stations – “gas” is called petrol, diesel, essence, or benzene in Europe. Note that unleaded gas is labeled “95” at gas stations. When picking up the rental make sure to confirm what kind of gas the vehicle requires. You will find that in Europe the gas prices are listed per liter – it costs roughly €7.
Driving on the left- it is important to note that in the UK and Ireland they drive on the left, therefore, be very cautious when making turns, and taking roundabouts. It will take some time to be accustomed to these changes.
Taking a rental is the best way to travel across borders because you can stop whenever you want and explore whichever location. Now that you know how to take a rental on a road trip across Europe, get to planning!
Navotar would like to wish you a safe and fun journey!